Mia Mingus on disability justice and the importance of starting locally

Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and community organizer working for disability justice and transformative justice. This AAPI Heritage Month, IGNITE wants to spotlight the amazing work Mia has done to educate others about ableism and intersectionality. Keep reading to learn more about Mia’s work. 

On her official website, Mia Mingus describes herself as “a queer physically disabled korean transracial and transnational adoptee raised in the Caribbean”. She has worked in the transformative justice space for over 15 years, and she is also passionate about ending sexual violence. 

Mia currently travels around the country and provides trainings on topics such as transformative justice and how people can get involved. She also works with the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective is a group that works to build transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse. 

In an interview with We, Ceremony, Mia shares “People ask this question all the time: how do you move to action? And the plain and simple answer is: you just have to do it. You just have to start. And keep going.” She suggests starting with research and learning about the work first, and then reaching out to organizations who are in the space already. Mia also emphasizes that we take a moment to think about the injustice that’s happening in our own communities, in our neighborhoods, or in our city/town. 

“If we can’t even practice accountability and justice between each other, then how can we demand accountability from institutions or the state?,” she says. 

Mia is fueled by her passion but is also aware that she works in a space that can be difficult at times. She emphasizes the importance of self-care and in an interview with We, Ceremony, she states, “Self care for me can also be watering my plants for 15 minutes in the afternoon sun, eating my favorite dessert while listening to a favorite song, taking 20 minutes to handwrite my friend a letter, doing my laundry, cooking food for myself, or taking the long way home so I can pass by one of my favorite trees.” 

During AAPI Heritage Month in 2013, Mia was recognized by the White House as an Asian and Pacific Islander women’s Champion of Change. We applaud Mia for her inspirational work and continued dedication to educating and empowering others. Feel free to check out resources on Mia’s blog, which she shares for free. 

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